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-   -   Strength or technique? (http://www.muscleandbrawn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11996)

MikeM 12-23-2012 08:14 PM

Strength or technique?
 
I am moving along my journey with powerlifting (this question is perhaps not geared toward aesthetic lifters or body builders) and I accumulated some strength and some technique and am still improving on both.

I watch a lot of video of guys lifting and one thing I notice is there are guys at the top who have both. Their strength and technique are great, world class. We're not talking about them.

We're talking about the regular joe who is committed and wants to reach his personal potential. Usually, their strength is ridiculous and they get by with spotty technique. Or the reverse and their technique is awesome and their strength adequate to the task. I feel like I tend toward the latter, fwiw.

My question is: should we be striving for the middle ground? 50-50? Or should we be accentuating our strengths in either direction, like 60-40? Or maybe we should work on our weakness, 40-60 the other way?

I ask because I feel like I am making good gains, but maybe only because of really honing in on technique, assuming my "strength" was coming along too. Sure my strength is going up a little bit, but I wonder. The reason I wonder is because I can always push an extra rep in the submaximal range, but when it comes to the supra maximal range, I often fold like a house of cards.

When push comes to shove, you have to get the weight up and technique will only get you so far. At some point you have to have the butt strength to push it past your "technique". Right??

I hope you understand what I am saying. This is something that is bothering me. I'd love some input.

BendtheBar 12-23-2012 08:39 PM

I trained ignorant of technique for 20 years. A product of the muscle mags. All it did was create injuries. I can't bench without a Slingshot because of it.

Quote:

When push comes to shove, you have to get the weight up and technique will only get you so far.
I disagree.

Technique might have to be broken, or might break for maximal lifts. But for the 99% of the rest of the time technique is very important.

When it breaks, lifters are moving the weight despite bad technique, not because of it. Something breaks down and they can't correct it mid-lift. If my lower back rounds during a deadlift, and I make the pull anyway, it wasn't my shoddy technique that made the lift. I made the lift despite my form break.

Curious to see what others think here. I personally think lack of focus on technique only leads to bad things.

J_Byrd 12-23-2012 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeM (Post 304639)
The reason I wonder is because I can always push an extra rep in the submaximal range, but when it comes to the supra maximal range, I often fold like a house of cards.

They both go hand in hand to a degree. I could power clean 340/350 in college, but with the worlds worse form. I just muscled it up. At some point you cant muscle up weights, and your form as to improve.

You have no major flaws in your form, you just need to continue to progress. Get the whole idea of max weights folding you up out of your head. I know for a fact it will not happen this go around!

Disciple X 12-23-2012 09:42 PM

Good advice in here! I find as technique gets better, weights go up, and as weights go up, strength rises :) win-win man...

Off Road 12-23-2012 10:13 PM

Focus on technique and the strength will follow

Soldier 12-23-2012 10:23 PM

I'd compare it to my other passion, golf. I always say that people can get ok even with crappy form, but they will end up hitting a wall at some point. They won't be able to progress, and when they do finally push past that plateu it will be in spite of their form, and thanks to bad techniques in which they've become proficient. As they continue to practice, their bad techniques will become bad habits, and the only way they'll ever reach their true potential is to actually go backwards and spend a long time just getting rid of the bad habits they've ingrained. Most people will never do that. They'll just stubornly push on believing that practice makes perfect.

Apply that how you will, but for me, I've found that if you focus on good form while you train, then when it comes time to push max weights you can forget about form and just move the damn weight, and your body will more or less stick to the good form you've engrained.

Did any of that make sense, lol?

Fazc 12-24-2012 06:44 AM

"You can't coach strength, you coach technique."

What is strength exactly? It's the ability for you to show your strength in a given medium, in this case it's the big 3.

Fazc 12-24-2012 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BendtheBar (Post 304641)
Curious to see what others think here. I personally think lack of focus on technique only leads to bad things.

Absolutely.

I can't stress this enough, for me this is the KEY area that we don't talk about on forums. We talk about programming, rest, recuperation, diet, macros and everything in between but form is given scarce attention.

Form is the key aspect of your training which makes the biggest difference to success or to failure. Once I had gotten moderately strong the biggest difference came from minor form improvements.

5kgLifter 12-24-2012 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeM (Post 304639)
I am moving along my journey with powerlifting (this question is perhaps not geared toward aesthetic lifters or body builders) and I accumulated some strength and some technique and am still improving on both.

I watch a lot of video of guys lifting and one thing I notice is there are guys at the top who have both. Their strength and technique are great, world class. We're not talking about them.

We're talking about the regular joe who is committed and wants to reach his personal potential. Usually, their strength is ridiculous and they get by with spotty technique. Or the reverse and their technique is awesome and their strength adequate to the task. I feel like I tend toward the latter, fwiw.

My question is: should we be striving for the middle ground? 50-50? Or should we be accentuating our strengths in either direction, like 60-40? Or maybe we should work on our weakness, 40-60 the other way?

I ask because I feel like I am making good gains, but maybe only because of really honing in on technique, assuming my "strength" was coming along too. Sure my strength is going up a little bit, but I wonder. The reason I wonder is because I can always push an extra rep in the submaximal range, but when it comes to the supra maximal range, I often fold like a house of cards.

When push comes to shove, you have to get the weight up and technique will only get you so far. At some point you have to have the butt strength to push it past your "technique". Right??

I hope you understand what I am saying. This is something that is bothering me. I'd love some input.

I'm partially going to address the top people's form because it's important in iteself; in addition to what you wrote, there is a top Oly lifter, and after having many of his snatch lifts analysed, it was found that in every rep, whether comp rep or training rep, he always ended up with the barbell pulled to the exact same height...that's the reason they believe he is in the top lifters of his sport, his technique is almost flawless in that aspect.

I know you say your strength is going up a little bit but the body has to compensate and adjust to heavy lifts, doing heavy lifts permits ot to do so, as you know...breaks or deloads help it to learn (for want of a better word, only because I can't rememeber the word we use to describe the process :(); I've always found that after a short 1 or 2 week break, I'm generally hitting a new PB, especially if I trained submaixmally in the 2-3 weeks preceding the break. And, to add further, it's better to have slow progress than no progress...add a 5lb new PB once in a while or add no new PB in months and the slow progress will still get you there faster...it's the tortoise and the hare, all over!

Fazc 12-24-2012 07:33 AM

Good points 5kg.

Also in addition to the comment about muscling up the weight. I think you'll find the top guys tend not to do that because their strongest groove is the one they have trained. Believe me, if they thought they'd get an extra 10kg from breaking form, then that would be their form regularly!

So if you're still at the point where you need to break form to make a lift then you have some technique and form drilling to do yet. If that is the case you want to avoid doing maximal lifts for a while and get some volume in and really drill the movement path.

You want to aim towards a point where you are lifting in the absolutely strongest range for you. You do that by drilling over and over the form you want to lift in.


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